Applications Of Great Hand Posture & Precautions

The meaning of Maha in Sanskrit is ‘great’ and mahamudra means ‘great seal’. All the three bandhas or energetic ‘seals’ or ‘locks’ are employed in the mahamudra asana to direct the vital energy or prana.

Mahamudra (Great hand posture) will help in opening up the channels of energy so that there is a better flow of prana. The aim of performing mahamudra meditation is to elicit better understanding of the self.


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Steps :

  1. To perform the Mahamudra yoga pose you should start by seating yourself in Dandasana (Staff pose) with your hands kept flat on both sides of the buttocks. Your hands should be pressed down while your shoulders are brought down and back so that the chest is opened up and the crown of the head reaches up. When you feel the sit bones rooted to the ground, straighten up your legs with your toes pointing up.
  2. Breathe in deeply and bring your right foot to the inside part of you r right thigh and on an exhale bring the knee down.
  3. On the next breath, the Mula bandha should be engaged on the exhale. Take a deep breath and bring your arms over your head while keeping your fingers straight.
  4. As you exhale slowly, roll to the front part of your sit bones. With your back kept straight, bring your arms down and hold onto the side of your foot while the Jalandhara Bhandas and Uddiyana are engaged. The Uddiyana Bandha is in the belly and the Jalandhara Bhandas is in the lift of the head.
  5. Become aware of the space that is created in your mind and body.
  6. When you feel like breathing again, let go of your foot and the bandhas and take a breath while straightening your arms. Then breathe out and let your arms come down to your sides.
  7. Before moving, close your eyes and take a deep breath.
  8. Then extend the right leg and repeat the Great hand posture steps for the other side.

Precautions :

  • Avoid practicing this posture during pregnancy or if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, or other disorders of the eye.
  • You should also avoid this posture if you have had a recent abdominal inflammation or surgery, or chronic or recent back inflammation or injury.

Beginner’s Tip

A good beginner’s tip For Great hand posture is to practice cultivating the engaging of the three bandhas which comes before the formal sitting meditation. It is also suggested that beginners perform this posture under the guidance of a qualified instructor to reduce the risk of injury from improper techniques.

Benefit To Body Part :

  • It helps in strengthening the upper back muscles, shoulder, and lumbar muscles.
  • The Mahamudra benefit to body parts also includes the strengthening of the legs, thighs, and buttocks.
  • It strengthens the abdominal muscles.

Therapeutic Applications

  • The therapeutic applications include more self-confidence and an increase in the powers of concentration.
  • It enhances the nervous system, makes the immune stronger, and provides energy to the entire body.

Variations :

There are several variations for the Great hand posture for individuals who have a health conditions or bodily limitations that can prevent them from practicing this posture.

  • If too much strain on the back is felt you could sit on the edge of a folded blanket or cushion.
  • Support for aching knees can be given with the help of a cushion, folded blanket, or block.
  • You can secure a tie around the balls of your feet so that the back is kept straight.
  • Holding a tie when the arms are brought up and then down will benefit weak shoulders.
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